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Don Shula: Jets' tarp accusations are nonsense

INDIANAPOLIS -- As today is the AFC championship game and the New York Jets are playing, there has been a ton of pre-game hype about this game. Part of that hype has included the Jets playoff history (which is short) and particularly their performance in championship games.

A couple of those championship games have connections to Miami. The Jets one and only Super Bowl title came in Super Bowl III against the Baltimore Colts. The Colts were coached by Don Shula, who went on to coach the Dolphins and is the winningest coach of all time.

Another game Jets fans and media speak much about is the 1983 AFC title game. Dolphins 14, Jets zippo. In typical New York fashion, this loss has been rationalized and blamed on, of all people, Shula. I'm not making this stuff up.

Google "Jets and tarp and Shula" and you'll get a ton of articles, including this one this week in the Newark Star-Ledger, in which an otherwise respected journalist claims Shula ordered the grounds crew at the Orange Bowl not to place the tarp on the field on a day it was raining in Miami in order to give the Dolphins an advantage.

Aside from how stupid that sounds based on the fact it means it was raining on ground the Dolphins as well as the Jets were using, I actually decided to do what journalists used to do, and go to a source on the topic to find out the truth.

"Tha'ts an insult to my intelligence," Shula told me moments ago when I asked if he ordered the tarp in the Orange Bowl not to be used on the field. "If there was ever a coach that wanted to play a game on a fast track, I was that guy. I've heard of the Jets accusing us of not putting the tarp on the field or some nonsense like that but it's ridiculous.

"I did a radio show where they asked me about that and one of the hosts was obviously a Jets fan and he said I did that. I told him, 'You've got to be stupid to think I would something like that.' I like playing a game in the best possible conditions. It's the truer test for both teams."

Well, that settles that. Shula isn't re-writing history here. He's got no agenda because his reputation has already been written, both good and bad.

And he recognizes that on the bad side of the ledger is that fateful Super Bowl III that, as he says, "was the Joe Namath guarantee game."

That was New York's one and only NFL championship. And it set the stage for Shula coming to Miami.

"That game had a big impact on my career because after we lost, my relationship with the owner was never the same," Shula said. "Carroll Rosenbloom was the owner than and he'd get on the phone and take a lot of heat from his New York buddies for losing the game and then he'd get on the phone and pass the heat on to me.

"I lasted another year in Baltimore after that, but it was never the same between us. It's the main reason I ended up in Miami."

Shula said he'll be watching the both title games today, including the AFC game between the Jets and Colts.

"What the Jets have done is pretty amazing with a rookie quarterback and to come the way they've come," Shula said. "Mike Westhoff is a is friend of mine and I'm happy for him. And I'm happy for Brian Schottenheimer because he's Marty's son and Marty Schottenheimer is a close friend of mine."

So Shula likes some of the folks on the Jets.

But ...

"They're going against one of the best guys to play the game and there's not a lot they can do about that," Shula said. "I would never pick against Peyton Manning. It's unbelievable what he does. Whatever the situation is in the game, you never feel like you're safe if Manning is the other quarterback. He's one of the best of all time and when he's done he'll probably have all the records.

"You can't pick against him."

And Shula doesn't. He's picking the Colts.

[BLOG NOTE: Yup, we'll have a live blog in the comments section during the AFC title game. Go there, discuss the action with fellow Dolfans and others, and enjoy a big afternoon of football.]


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so much for the vuanted defense wins championships ryan speech, the nightmare is over!!

Yes NJ, but i got nervous when you were waffling there in the 1st half brother.....

Colts let them in so they could pound an easy opponent at home.. It was a plan they had all along...:)

Reality sucks huh jets fans? It's cold.

Show me that lousy owner Woody Johnson!

damn you would think they would have put reves on GARCON??

NJ was ripping my ass early on... He was tense!!!!!!

the picks on the next YET drive enjoy that beer TNFinFan

If they did Wayne would have 200 yards on the day lol!

Hey Mando, how about we trade Ginn straigth up for Garcon? Just wishful thinking...

I'm going to have a field day on jet fans tonight and tommorrow.

Cuban, make ur Jet Blue Reseevations and cmon down

Posted by: bobbyd12
The only problem now is to collect bobby, all these guys carry guns......

Any thoughts on what Rex will blame this on?

I'm going down the locker room, men. I'm going to the Jets locker room to laugh at them.

You might read about me if I get into it with one of those guys.

NJ rips every ones Ass, he wouldn't be NJ if he didn't...

Rip some ass on the Phone NJ...

Mando brotha.... U the man enjoy the trip back home!!

Ya, NJ was all "The sky is falling the sky is falling" - but I would be too if I was surrounded by a gaggle of jets fans.

lol go get'em Mando.

I have to agree with Salguero Miami need more then one good WR atleast two. I believe Miami will sign a WR and draft a WR

Go get um NJ... Talk your clients out of suicide!!! Now!!!!

Rip some ass Mando!

We will bail ya out!

I'm going to have a field day on jet fans tonight and tommorrow.

Posted by: NJ PHIN FAN | January 24, 2010 at 05:56 PM
dont get yourself hurt up! they might want to kill you(and you a dolphins fan)

ok, you guys win tonight but we will be back .next year is going to be great .

Now we can watch the next game in peace..

Thank you Lord.

Give em hell Mando

there's your pick

W00T Game!!!!!!!!!

And there's the patented Sanchez pickaroo.....

There's that patented sanchez interception!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It didn't take a genius to see that int coming!

Actually, Jet, we won on Monday, October 12th and Sunday November 1st.. you LOST today.

The REAL Sanchez!!! INT INT

Jet, you got balls unlike a B I T C H we all know.

Keep your blog name next year..

Might not hate your guts.


Score again colts.

Lmao @ Lip

where's that split personality tortured at????
which one of u is it???

There that flying tostada being picked!!! Haha go home wetback!!!

Agree with you there PO....

J-E-T-S suck suck suck!!!!!!!

PICK! count ur tostitos


Po . that's right BROTHA !!!

I feel like the phins have won the superbowl hahaha .. Man I feel good

see ya at landshark next season YETS

Call em like I see em.

I hear you Po....it will make it more enjoyable. Outta beer. But I don't want to miss what fat boy has to say. What will I do?

Just remember jets fans we were afc champs a year ago and were slapped back into reality. The same fate lies ahead for you.

Life is good!

Correction afc east champs

That's Sun Life Stadium, not Land Shark

Birth 73. don't worry about me . i'm a big boy and can handle myself. I'll be wearing my dolphins gear tommorrow.

Don't miss it Joe, and I love Beer.

All of us expected that pick TNFinFan...Even the jet fans. hows that beer?

It will be an honor to have Peyton Manning in our locker room not discraced by Jet stink.

truth be told REX RYAN outsmarted himself! how do you go into a game with only 4 d-lineman?

See ya Jets. Take your Tatar Salad coach, $hitty QB, and smack talk and go back to your town.

I hope the Fins do everything possible this offseason to whatever is possible to beat these guys again.

Come on Bill.

It taste GREAT knowing that the Yets won't b in the superbowl

So much for the super bowl championship parade in NY hahahahah

Snatchez looks like he is gonna cry.

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